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The Iconoclast

Tuesday, 04 December 2007
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Tuesday, 04 December 2007
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Just a nice picture before I turn in.  Taken in Sussex in  October.

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Posted on 12/04/2007 3:35 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 04 December 2007
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The job of the nurse used to one of caring for the sick and needy.
But not - it would seem - in today's politically-correct Britain.
Now, nurses are being encouraged to spend valuable time turning around the beds of Muslim patients up to five times a day - so they can face Mecca.
In a bid to promote cultural understanding, they are also expected to provide patients with running water so they can wash before prayer.
And then, of course, they are required to turn the beds back around to return the wards to normality. The measures are being pursued by Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust to ensure Muslim patients have a "more comfortable stay in hospital".
A spokeswoman for the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said it had made the changes and introduced the training to better meet the needs of their Muslim patients.  This included staff positioning the beds of "very ill" Muslim patients to face the Qibla in Mecca if requested by the patient.
But an experienced nurse at Dewsbury and District Hospital in Yorkshire where the ideas are being tested, has blasted the scheme.
She said: "It would be easier to create Muslim-only wards with every bed facing Mecca than deal with this.  We have a huge Muslim population in Dewsbury and if we are having to turn dozens of beds to face Mecca five times a day, plus provide running water before and after prayers, it is bound to impact on the essential medical service we are supposed to be providing.
"Although the beds are designed to be moved, the bays are not really suitable for having loads of beds moving around to face a different direction and, despite our best efforts, it does cause disruption for non-Muslim patients."
Conservative MP David Davies also criticised the idea, saying: "Hospitals should be concentrating on stopping the spread of infections than kowtowing to the politically-correct brigade.If the need for fresh running water is so great then perhaps family members could be on hand to assist the already overworked medical staff.”
The scheme comes just a year after some NHS hospitals introduced Burka-style gowns for Muslim patients who did not want to show their face during operations.
Yesterday, a spokeswoman for Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust confirmed that nurses were encouraged to help meet individual requests.
She said: "Nurses have not been ordered to move beds or provide running water - they have just been encouraged to help meet patients' needs wherever possible.  If a sick patient requests that their bed be moved to face Mecca, then it is right that the hospital looks at this request - even if it is more than once a day. We can also try and move the patient to a bed that faces Mecca permanently”.
Muslim graves face Mecca. 
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Posted on 12/04/2007 3:25 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 04 December 2007
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International Islamophobia Conference

What a galere.

There is "Lord" Ahmed, fresh from Khartoum, no doubt expecting to be basking in gratitude from the non-Muslims of Great Britain, for though Al-Bashir had decided to free Gibbons before Ahmed and his travelling companion (a Muslim woman, not married to Lord Ahmed, whom some fellow Believer should not forget to punish for her crime) rushed to the scene.

There is the hysterical, ex-nun Karen Armstrong, who needs no introduction, and who believes that Muhammad's essential function was that of Peacemaker, and who apparently still has not figured out that she really must re-read the Qur'an, and then find out all about the Hadith (and how their "authenticity" has been ranked to Muslim satisfaction), and the Sira -- for Aisha, the Khaybar Oasis, the decapitation of the Banu Qurayza, the murders of Abu Akaf and Asma bint Marwan are just a few of the things that Armstrong forgot to mention, much less to comprehend, in her guide to nothing and nowhere, "Islam."

There is the crazed antisemite Norman Finkelstein, for whose parents -- Holocaust survivors -- we must feel sorry, about whom nothing more need be said except that at such gatherings one completely lunatic Jewish person is de rigueur, and apparently Israel Shamir was otherwise occupied.

There is Tariq Ramadan, about whom see "Frere Tariq," a book-length study of his soft-voice taqiyya (but listen for the hiss underneath at all), determined to make sure that the confusion and fog of war continue while Muslims make themselves as comfortable as possible in the Lands of the Infidels, settling in for the long haul, and the demographic conquest that, if nothing is done, is assured. It is Tariq Ramadan who promises a new Islam, a "European Islam" that he carefully never defines, never explains what that "European Islam's" canonical texts will look like, or how they will differ, those texts and then those tenets of Islam, from the Islam we have all seen, and grown correctly to fear, in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, indeed everywhere in the Muslim lands, among all those Muslims who take their Islam seriously -- which is to say, almost all of them, though they are very good at finding westernized, plausible, smooth-talking representatives to fan out to the capitals of the West to deny, obfuscate, and sometimes, in their own persons, to offer a false view (think of jolly Prince Bandar, offering the port and cigars, joking with everyone from James Baker to Colin Powell about "a little corruption" in Saudi Arabia, implying that they were all men of the world, weren't they, and besides, Saudi Arabia has its ruling class, and America had its ruling class as well -- and Islam never came up, the primitive belief-system of the Al-Saud, and of the country they named after themselves, was overlooked, and still is being overlooked, in dealings with Saudi Arabia.

There is John Esposito who no longer disguises, even in the name of his fiefdom, with his henchman John Voll and others of that unseemly ilk, the Arab money that he takes in such quantities. Years ago, toiling in the humble vineyards of Holy Cross, and merely an apologist for Islam, not the Big Entrepreneur he has become today, Esposito found his first sugar daddy in a rich Lebanese contractor, an islamochristian, and now has progressed to the stage of cutting out the islamochristian middleman and going directly to the Saudis, and has renamed his institute after the one with the facial tic and the big-hearted -- what he wouldn't do to protect the image of Islam -- wallet. Lean, mean, jogging (I can see him lapping the hippodrome, as he skips some morning -- or is it the afternoon -- session? Or perhaps he'll find a track right by the Bosporus, but they're not being put up in the Ciragan Palace, you know, and perhaps security will prevent his usual jog. Esposito will quickly find his way to the hotel’s exercise room. It means a lot to him. It will in fact the first thing he does on being shown to his suite, after he checks to see what “amenities” are laid out for him in his suite’s bathroom. Even if he does not have time to read Snouck Hurgronje or Henri Lammens, or several dozen other Western scholars of Islam who studied and wrote before the Great Inhibition set in, he has time for his daily exercise and ablutions. Why study Islam any more at this point? He knows what he has to say, and how he has to say it. It’s the same thing, over and over again. Oh, it’s true that he had to put that little word “jihad” into a new, post-9/11 edition of his “Islamic Holy War: Myth or Reality?” because he had mentioned it, in passing, only once in the first edition. But otherwise, it’s the mixture as before, for the Apologist By Appointment To The Court Of The Guardians Of The Two Noble Sanctuaries.

They do have their work cut out for them, don’t they? What with the condemning to death of Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan, the man who attempted to convert to Christianity, and the killings not of mere Jews or Christians (in the West we can ignore that more readily) but of Buddhists in southern Thailand, and the blowing-up of the Bamiyan Buddhas raises the whole matter of non-Muslim statuary and other art under Islam – where did it all go, the Greco-Bactrian artifacts of Afghanistan, and the Buddhist stupas all over Central Asia, and the ancient libraries of Mandean manuscripts burned up by Muslims in “liberated” Iraq, and the contents of those khutbas now brought to our attention by the marvelous monitoring and translation services of MEMRI, which monitoring and translation services are making Muslim Arabs extremely nervous – for now we Infidels can eavesdrop on them as we never could before.

Most of the conference participants are Turks, and the conference organizers must be disappointed that the only non-Turks who would show up were people of the distinctly low Armstrong-Finkelstein-Esposito level, exhibiting various predictable signs of mediocrity or madness or cupidity. The most famous of the Turks who is announced as coming is the present Prime Minister of Turkey.Recip Erdogan. It was Erdogan who famously said, that “the minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks.” The French scholar of Islam, Anne-Marie Delcambre, found the phrase so telling that she chose to end her useful short study, “L’Islam des interdits,’ with that quote from Erdogan, that demonstrates that mosques are not peaceful places of contemplation and private worship, but places from which war is made on the Infidels :"Les minarets sont nos baionnettes, les coupoles nos casques et les mosquees nos casernes.” It was Erdogan who never denounced the Turks who described American soldiers as behaving like “Nazis” (Yes, we all remember how the Nazis handed out candy and soccer balls to little Jewish children, don’t we? And how the Nazis also spent a trillion dollars trying to establish the conditions of good government and prosperity, building those schools and hospitals in Jewish areas all over Europe?) and who stood for that vicious movie, with the American soldiers depicted on screen as those same Nazis, aided by a Jewish doctor who harvests organs, for the American market, from innocent Iraqis murdered by those American “Nazi” soldiers. It was Erdogan who in 1974, as Andrew Bostom discovered, directed and played the leading role in Maskomya, a play put on in Turkey in the late 1970s, the very title being an acronym for “Masons-Communists-Yahudi [Jews]”, and full of the usual anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Then there is the outwardly respectable – he was chosen to be Secretary-General of the O.I.C. – Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. He wears a suit and a tie. He is soft-spoken. He considers himself to be an historian of science, of “Islamic” science. Should we find anything objectionable? Well, here is how Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu described the status of dhimmi endured by Christians and Jews under Muslim rule (and by Zoroastrians and Hindus, if they were lucky, and treated as honorary members of Ahl al-Kitab, the People of the Book), helpfully explaining, in a recent address to an audience of American Infidels, that the “privilege of becoming a protected minority via an act of dhimmiship was given only to the followers of a prophet to whom a sacred book was revealed.” So that status of deliberate humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity, for a Muslim mob or a Muslim ruler might decide at any point, for all kinds of reasons (an entire community could be made to suffer if one person did not come through with the Jizyah, or otherwise misbehaved according to the Muslim view) is described by this “historian” as a “privilege” given to a “protected minority.” And what’s more, Ihsanoglu attempts, slyly, to describe these Christians and Jews in Islamic terms, almost claiming them for Islam (just as, according to Muslims, everyone is born a little Muslim, and only falls away from the True Faith later on), describing them as being lucky to be treated as dhimmis which was only possible because, like Muslims, they are “the followers of a prophet to whom a sacred book was revealed” – thus likening Moses and Jesus, quite inaccurately I’m afraid, to Muhammad, receiving that message over 23 turbulent years of scribes and – who knows? – possibly scribal error. I won’t bother to deal with Ekmeleddin Ihsnaoglu’s idea of what constitutes objective history, but he is one more Muslim who has no clear idea of Western standards in such matters. His last book , reviewed by the bizarre Ziauddin Sarkar in the pages of “Nature” (how that was allowed is another story), was basically not a history of Ottoman science, or “Islamic” science, but an attempt to explain why such things as the clock did not develop in the East but only in the West (you see, since the early clocks were not sufficiently accurate for Muslims to rely on them for knowing when it was time for prayers, they did not think it worth using them, or trying to improve them), explanations which do not satisfy intelligent readers, but raise more disturbing questions about the Muslim mind-set than Dr. Ihsanoglu apparently realizes.

No doubt clever secular Turks, in Turkey and abroad, know many of the names of the people showing up at this dismal event. Perhaps one of them, in the know, will write in to tell us about the others in the same galere, which I would name as the S.S. Naufragium, except that I’ve already used up that name several times, in describing the Bush Administration’s folly in Iraq, and its taking-on-water ship of state.

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Posted on 12/04/2007 1:39 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 04 December 2007
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A well deserved skeptical eye cast by Tom Joscelyn at the Standard, here.  At Contentions, Norman Podhoretz and Max Boot weigh in.  Gabe Schoenfeld is also Connecting the Dots.
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Posted on 12/04/2007 9:03 AM by Andy McCarthy
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Tuesday, 04 December 2007
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"Having visited museums in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, Syria and Iran can I assure your readers that human and animal representational (pre-Islamic and Islamic) is well represented in their museums, they will even sell you replicas. Some periods seem to have really gone in for portrait painting such as the Qajars and Otttomans. The centre piece of the Damascus museum is a restored synagogue from Dura Europa which is covered in pictures of prophets etc., confounding received views on Judaic religious art, and Syria’s attitude to Jewish culture. Isfahan has a thriving Armenian community and museum that would really get up the Turks’ noses. Yazd has a Zoroastrian temple that is popular with local muslims (Iran – outside of places like Qom – is surprisingly non-religious, empty mosques, public praying rare, veiled women very rare).

It pays to go and look at these places before forming an opinion."
--from a reader signed "Dr."

1. What makes you think I haven't looked at "some of these places"?

2. Who founded these museums? A Frenchman, Mariette, founded the Cairo Museum. The museum in Baghdad was founded by Gertrude Bell and her Department of Antiquities.

3. Who discovered, who unearthed, who lovingly collected and subjected to study, the artifacts of the ancient Near East, that is the pre-Islamic Near East? There were Egyptologists, such as Champollion, and Lepsius, and  and Howard Carter. French, German, English, but not a local Muslim, not an Arab, among them. Who discovered the artifacts of the Assyrians, if not Austen Henry Layard? Who discovered Ur, if not such Westerners as Leonard Woolley? Who made the study of those artifacts their specialties, at such places as Berlin, and the Oriental Institute in Chicago?

And what do we get, even from Arab Muslim scholars working with all the resources in a West that sometimes cossets and coddles them? We get the tendentious trash, archaeologically speaking, of MESA Nostrans such as Al-Haj (giving her tenure was an offense to Archeology and to a small army, in the academic West, of  those underemployed or unemployed or wrongly employed archaeologists who specialize in the Near East).

3. You refer to a place called "Palestine." I don't know what you mean by that now-loaded toponym. Do  you mean the  land once referred to in Western Christendom as "Palestine" because the Romans so carefully renamed it, the land that now constitutes modern Israel. If so, what museums did you find, what artifacts carefully treated with respect, and collected, and studied, did you find anywhere in the Arab towns and villages? Or was it all to be found in the Jerusalem Museum, and the Rockefeller Museum,and other smaller museums that have been entirely the work of non-Muslim benefactors, curators, collectors, researchers?

There's a lot more to be said about the "art" permitted, and therefore created, under Islam, and also about the treatment of non-Muslim artifacts, artifacts from both the indigenous pre-Islamic societies (as Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistan, churches all over North Africa and the Middle East), the Greco-Bactrian civilization of Afghanistan), and that created by the non-Muslims under Muslim rule, during the past 1350 years. Think of all those stupas destroyed, those Buddhas -- the Bamiyan Buddhas were merely the last to go, because they required modern technology (i.e., explosives) to dispatch. Think of all those Hindu temples destroyed, and Jain ones too -- the very first picture in a well-known guide to Islamic literature is of a mosque built, the author notes, on the ruins of a Jain temple.

Oleg Grabar has noted the very limited nature of permissible artistic expression under Islam. And Oleg Grabar is certainly someone anyone would regard as an authority on Islamic art, one who has certainly visited every place you list and then some.

When you mention Armenians in Isfahan (Ispahan), what is the point? It is well known to historians that Armenians were invited to settle the city of New Julfa, not because of any particular love for Armenians but because a Persian ruler thought they would bring economic benefits. Armenians have not suffered as have other Christians in the Islamic Republic of Iran, but that does not mean that the Islamic Republic of Iran treats non-Muslim Christians fairly. If you recall, in that little book by Ms. Nafisi ("Reading Lolita in Teheran") she notices the sign on an Armenian restaurant, indicating to potential customers that the restaurant is owned by someone who is "najis" or "unclean" (how does this differ in intent from the sign "Jude" painted on Jewish-owned stores in Germany in the late 1930s?) Your anecdotal evidence is absurd, preposterous. And what it is offered up as is unclear. Are you saying that in Islam there is no hadith, an "authentic" one, claiming that angels do not enter a house where there are "dogs and statues"? Are you further claiming that Qaradawi and other present-day Muslim scholars do not quote that hadith, do not denounce statuary? Why, I have Qaradawi's book right here, and he does indeed denounce statues, and all sculpture, for that very reason.

There is a lot more to say by way of response to your curious Defense of the Faith, but at the moment there's a driveway to dig out.

When I was growing up, no one would ever have prefaced his name with a "Dr." unless he had received a medical degree. It was simply not done. Have you?

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Posted on 12/04/2007 8:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 04 December 2007
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Millions of Muslims in Bangladesh sought refuge during the mass killing, by army troops from West Pakistan (now "Pakistan") and by their local fanatical Muslim supporters, the razakars, during the 1970-71 war. More millions have poured over the border since, fleeing the distempers of an Islamic state for the lesser miseries of the State of West Bengal.

But that has not kept the Muslims from massacring Hindus, and also Buddhists (there are still some left in the Chittagong Hills area of Bangladesh). It has not kept Muslims coming out of mosques, whipped-up to a Muslim frenzy by a Muslim cleric, from beating passing Hindus to a bloody death.

Yet more Muslims are still coming across into India, and many more will come - tens of millions - as the floodplain that constitutes so much of Bangladesh is, because of anthropogenic global warming, flooded and flooded and flooded again.

They should be denied entry. They should be forced to jettison Islam before being allowed into India. Otherwise, they can simply move, double-up, with fellow Muslims in Bangladesh, or demand that the vast empty spaces of Arabia, with all that wealth, be made accommodating to fellow members of the Umma.

Make noise about that now. Make sure Bangladeshis understand that they will be punished with floods by God, the Christian God who is not amused by their loyalty to that other one, the usurper, "Allah," and by their abandoning of Indian ways and names for pseudo-Arab ones. No, God considers that mockery, and God is not mocked. Then also let it get about, that while it is too late to head off those floods, the Bangladeshis may, if they accept Christianity, or even return to the Hinduism that their ancestors obviously practiced (obvious to us, but to Muslims what their non-Islamic ancestors did or were, or why they converted to Islam, are not things to be thought of, but put out of one's head), possibly find the floods slightly ameliorated, and may also find that some of them will at least be airlifted to safety by the wonderful Infidels who always come to their rescue, as for some reason the fabulously rich Muslim Arabs never do.

Why not? the Bangladeshis will begin to wonder.

Meanwhile, in India, preparations should be made to prevent a mass migration of Muslims into India from Bangladesh. It must be prevented, for the sake of all of India's non-Muslims.

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Posted on 12/04/2007 7:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 04 December 2007
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The Telegraph leader on the subject of Mrs Gibbons and Mohammed Bear.

The delight and mutual congratulations that have characterised the agreement between the Sudanese dictator and the British authorities on the release of a blameless schoolteacher presents a nauseating picture.
There can be no questioning the perfectly justified relief expressed at the personal deliverance of Mrs Gibbons but the grotesque absurdity of her arrest and incarceration is a testimony to the danger of allowing a rogue state to proceed unchecked.
Having gathered that precious little action will be taken against its outrageous activities in Darfur, it engages in what are clearly designed to be diversionary stunts intended as retaliation against countries that have been vociferous in their condemnation of its genocidal acts.
M
r Bashir, who has been responsible for some of the worst atrocities in post-war history, has successfully blocked the deployment of peacekeeping forces that would protect Darfur civilians.
It is that failure of international resolve which encourages him to believe that he can flout moral and diplomatic conventions. As we argued last week, we should recall our ambassador and consider sanctions against the regime.

Meanwhile, from the BBC, details of just how bad things are under this genocidal regime. It is often forgotten, and was not emphasised nearly enough that the reason Mrs Gibbons was teaching in Khatoum, is that there is a large Christian community of Sudanese, and that many of them are Anglicans. They have been shamefully neglected.

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Posted on 12/04/2007 2:40 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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Apparently there is to be a "new debate on female circumcision". In the New York Times, John Tierney (h/t DW) asks: "Should African women be allowed to engage in the practice sometimes called female circumcision?" What's to debate? This is what you might call a num question.

Dr. Ahmadu, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, was raised in America and then went back to Sierra Leone as an adult to undergo the procedure along with fellow members of the Kono ethnic group. She has argued that the critics of the procedure exaggerate the medical dangers, misunderstand the effect on sexual pleasure, and mistakenly view the removal of parts of the clitoris as a practice that oppresses women. She has lamented that her Westernized “feminist sisters insist on denying us this critical aspect of becoming a woman in accordance with our unique and powerful cultural heritage.” In another essay, she writes:

It is difficult for me — considering the number of ceremonies I have observed, including my own — to accept that what appears to be expressions of joy and ecstatic celebrations of womanhood in actuality disguise hidden experiences of coercion and subjugation. Indeed, I offer that the bulk of Kono women who uphold these rituals do so because they want to — they relish the supernatural powers of their ritual leaders over against men in society, and they embrace the legitimacy of female authority and particularly the authority of their mothers and grandmothers.

Dr Ahmadu may be a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago. But she's still a dozy bint.

In an earlier post, I said the New York Times was guilty of talking through its arse. I was close, but, as Monica Lewinsky might say, no cigar.

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Posted on 12/03/2007 6:11 PM by Mary Jackson
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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Even for we who have observed the Clintons closely for years, this has to be a new dimension of bizarro.  Hillary Clinton, in the course of determining that it's in her interest to make the campaign about personal integrity, has further decided to impeach Barack Obama's honesty on the basis of essays he wrote while in the kindergarten and the third grade.  The WSJ's James Taranto has the rundown in today's Best of the Web.  Astounding.  May be the first known instance of the Politics of Toddler Destruction.
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Posted on 12/03/2007 4:50 PM by Andy McCarthy
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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"I have a great respect for the Islamic religion..."
-- from the article above, quoting Gillian Gibbons, just as the sources of solicitude for her are suddenly beginning to dry up

Why? What does she know about the "Islamic religion" that entitles her to feel "great respect" for it? I suspect she knows nothing about the "Islamic religion" or, better, "Islam" -- for it is far more than merely a "religion" but rather a Belief-System that offers a Complete Regulation of Life and, at no extra cost, a Total Explanation of the Universe.

What is it that the hapless Gillian Gibbons finds worthy of "respect" in Islam? Was it the hysteria of Muslim judges who, had the Western powers not been watching, and not thrown a fit, and not applied pressure, would certainly have given her not merely a short jail sentence, but quite possibly handed down something far worse. Was it the crowds in Khartoum that cried for her blood? Was it the little seven-year-old charges, about whom nothing can be determined about Islam, because while they have been told they are "Muslim" they haven't the faintest idea, as yet, what Islam is all about, and as they do, their fresh-faced demeanor will change, pari passu with changes unseen, in their by-now brainwashed brains.

Really, she should thank god for the Western press and Western outrage, and the need to assuage that outrage, the need to court the favor of that press. But she won't. And suddenly, her innocence, her ignorance, her naiveté don't quite elicit the same sympathy as they might have, a day or two or three ago.

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Posted on 12/03/2007 4:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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Rumor to spread:

A large chunk of Time-Warner, which owns CNN, was years ago bought by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and no doubt other Saudis, and other Arabs, especially from the Emirates, also own Time-Warner stock, as they do stock in News Corp and other media companies.

Why should anyone take stock of what CNN reports about Islam and Islam-related matters, when so much CNN stock, essentially, has now been taken by the Saudis and other Muslim Arab Defenders of the Faith?

Remember, it's just a rumor. There is no truth, none whatsoever, in the remark that is alleged to have been made the present Saudi king, Abdullah, then merely the head of the Saudi National Guard, back in November 1979, when he supposedly told the Jordanian newspaper "Rai" that "we would have liked to buy all the Western media, but so far have been unsuccessful." No truth at all to it. Go ahead -- ask the government, or ask MEMRI, to look into that interview by Abdullah back in November 1979. You'll see that it is entirely false.

And do check on those rumors of heavy buying into CNN through its parent, and into other Western media, and you'll find it's all just a slanderous rumor. Just like that slanderous rumor being spread by those "right-wing" commentators, such that "Obama is a Muslim." Robert Spencer has been characteristically clever, diabolically clever, in the way he helped spread the rumor. He actually claimed that there was no evidence that Obama was a Muslim, and wondered what Muslims would make of him, because he had had a Muslim father and was now a devout Christian -- would they regard him as an apostate?

Can you imagine a cleverer way for Spencer to insinuate the very reverse -- that in fact Barack Obama must be a Muslim?

And look at how they are now spreading rumors about Saudi financial interests helping to limit the coverage, and comprehension, of Islam, in the United States and elsewhere in the Western world?

Rumors. Nonsense. Lies.

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Posted on 12/03/2007 4:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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Why are not the Presidential candidates rushing to invite Taslima Nasreen to meet with them? For that matter, why has not one of those candidates publicly deplored the difficulties of Ayaan Hirsi Ali in obtaining protection, and called for such protection to be offered by the American government, as part of its "determination to thwart all those who use violence to promote Jihad."

Why the silence?

There are, we have come to realize, so many other things to worry about, such as whether Darwin was right, or whether waterboarding should be outlawed, or whether abortion should be made illegal, or  or whether there should be no new taxes or even fewer taxes, especially on the upper end, the end where all that "job-creation"  that must not be discouraged takes place and whether so-and-so would make a better president, or how much of a better president he would make, because he is or is not an upright family man, and who, by the way, is the most self-declared true-blue, true-bluer, true-bluest Amiercan of them all, in thought, and word, and deed, which is what the electorate most needs to know. That's it. That's it? That's the goddam election?

And I'm an American (so can you).

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Posted on 12/03/2007 4:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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Now is the time to pour it on. To pour it on about the central duty of Jihad, Jihad meant as a permanent struggle to remove all barriers to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam, which means subjugating all non-Muslims, in what were their own lands, causing them to become indifferent to, and forgetful of, their own pre-Islamic histories, and to force them to endure a condition of humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity, that condition known as the status of being a "dhimmi."

And to pour it on about what Islam means for art, music, literature, science. It means a crippling of artistic expression, reduced to mosque architecture and calligraphy. It means a greatly-reduced role for music, which to the most fervent and fanatical Muslims must be entirely prevented. It means literature of praise, or blame, for the ruler, and praise of Muslims and Arabs, and denunciation of Infidels for being responsible for everything that has ever happened, that wasn't quite right, to Muslims. It means an end to free and skeptical inquiry, to habits of mind essential for the enterprise of science. It means the collectivist faith of Islam that does not recognize, much less enshrine in law codes, the rights of individuals as opposed to the collective, the Umma, the Believers.

It means all these things, everywhere it goes and manages to conquer. It has happened everywhere that happened, in time for the past 1,350 years, in space from Spain to the East Indies. Why should it be the slightest bit different, in Western Europe, now? It isn't. And it won't be, no matter how often the sly tariq-ramadans talk about some "European Islam" of their own rhetorical fabrication, that is no different from the Islam of North Africa, the Middle East, or Pakistan. For it has, at its core, the same texts, the same Qur'an, same Hadith, same Sira, and the same tenets derived from those texts, and the same attitudes that arise naturally in societies whose members have Islam as the sum and substance of their lives.

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Posted on 12/03/2007 4:01 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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"The brittle culture of Islam..."
-- title of Robert Spencer's article here.

Here is a posting of mine from May 20, 2004, with a barely detectable, little "brittle" in the middle (paragraph 5, last sentence):

Islam is now the vehicle of choice for all those who are psychically or economically marginal. The first might once have become Nazis or Fascists; the second might once have become Communists. Both find the kind of annihilation of the self in a community of Believers to be welcome relief from the agony of consciousness, both of one's own inadequacy, or of the inability to fit into whatever this civilization, or any other, offers the individual.

That is the problem. There are many such people, for whom Islam offers a Total Explanation of the Universe. They are not offended by its totalitarian aspects; they welcome them. They positively revel in the manichaeism that neatly divides the world in two: the Believers (Good) and the Unbelievers (Bad). How simple, and what ease of use. La vie: Mode d'emploi, to borrow Perec's title.

It is not enough, not nearly enough, to put troops in Iraq, or to send forces hither and yon to seek and destroy terrorists. They are sown like dragons' teeth; their ranks can be constantly renewed.

Measures of many different kinds need to be employed in the long war against the Jihad. These begin with, but are hardly exhausted by, the use of of the military weapon (qital). There must also be the wielding of an the economic weapon, beginning with attempts to diminish the financial resources of the Arab and Muslim countries so that they lack all discretionary income, and every cent must be spent on subsistence, rather than money from OPEC revenues, or even worse, from Western foreign aid (which must end), rather than on the buying of arms (on which, since 1973, such countries have spent hundreds of billions of dollars), or to pay for the building of mosques all over the Western world, or for the wholesale bribing -- both directly and through institutions -- of diplomats, journalists, academics, and others who help to deceive the unwary in the non-Muslim world). Another measure must include a complete halt to Muslim migration to the lands of those who, in the Muslim worldview, must be subjugated ultimately to Islam. Our civilization has no obligation to commit suicide, or to be prevented by its own hyperscrupulosity from protecting itself. If you do not regard with delight the prospect of Islam taking over Western Europe, then you must begin to discuss the matter of measures to make that area less, rather than more, hospitable to Muslims -- through a host of legislative measures, and through the willed hostility of the indigenous non-Muslims. We do not have to welcome those who wish us and our civilization, for all of its faults one worth salvaging, ill, even if they sometimes disguise that hostility. Cool, rational, and widespread discussion of the measures that may need to be undertaken, including the mass expulsion of what is clearly a classic fifth column, must take place -- when it is clear that otherwise, within the lifetimes of our children, France, Italy, and Holland will have majority Muslim populations. What would Western civilization be like without the art of Italy? And who will insure the safety of those statues and paintings which are haram, forbidden, according to Islam?

But above all, there must be a discussion of the origins of Islam, as a geopolitcal cult. The new studies of Christoph Luxenberg, casting intelligent doubt through philological analysis, on the Qur'an as first existing in Arabic -- it almost certainly owes much to a pre-existing Aramaic text -- and a widespread awareness of how this religion/geopolitical cult began, can do much to undercut the certainty, and self-confidence, of its Believers, and perhaps, beginning at the non-Arab edges of the cult, such study will begin to eat away at the number of Believers. For Islam itself is far more brittle than Christianity or Judaism, and it cannot stand scrutiny or historical analysis in the same way: it is really a case of accepting the whole thing (all Muslims must be, or must pretend to be, literalists about Qur'an and hadith, and about the unedifying life of one "Muhammad" who may well not have existed).

Philology, scholarship, real study of the origins and growth of Islam, instead of the apologetic nonsense and pap of Esposito, or the anglican pieties of that religion-worshipping--better Islam than atheism was his view -- of Montgomery Watt, or even the subtlest and therefore most deadly form of apologetics, that offered by Bernard Lewis, who has never been a scholar of early Islam, and whose personal ties to so many Muslim friends, colleagues, and patrons (one thinks of those who fete him and treat him as the Westerner who deserves to be the toast of Istanbul, or better still, Amman, where his every bon mot, he fondly thinks, is roundly appreciated, and he himself doth bestride the Islam/Infidel divide like a colossus, writing books fit for reception by the intelligent members of either audience (which is to say he does not tell, and can not tell, the full dismal truth about the tenets, and history, of Islam).

Those whose duty it is to articulate current and future dangers should publicly note the appeal of Islam to the psychically marginal, and economically resentful, of whom there are many. Muslims, whether born into the belief-system, and unable or unwilling, for a host of reasons (including filial piety -- especially among Arabs whose entire identity may be wrapped up in Islam) to abandon its tenets, no matter how impossible they make true accommodation with non-Muslims, or allow for true loyalty to the Infidel nation-state or other polity, or still worse, those who convert and are therefore likely to be even truer believers (unless that conversion was hastily undertaken at the behest of a spouse) need not be indulged by a pretense that all is well, that Islam itself is not the problem but a few fanatical outliers. It is not true; it is not fair to Infidels. Our first loyalty must be to the skeptical, rational, bemused, creative, intelligent civilization that is our heritage and which, it seems, we are hardly doing enough to deserve.

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Posted on 12/03/2007 3:46 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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"I've not been here for a week, so perhaps some other UK poster has already commented on this. But what I've noticed is that, just this once, all the usual suspects have come out on the side of the good guys.

We had Inayat Bunglawala (yes, the Asian Percy Weasley) laying into the man from the Sudanese Embassy on Newsnight even more effectively than Paxo (at least, the Sudanese guy looked extremely taken aback, like a man being savaged by a killer rabbit).

We had Anjem Choudhary (yes, Anjem Choudhary, the man who called 9/11 'magnificent' and wants to see the UK under the heel of a Caliphate) insisting (with his Sharia-lawyer hat on) that there is nothing offensive about giving that name to an 'item of endearment'.

We've had statements in support of Gillian Gibbons from the Muslim Council of Britain, the Ramadhan Foundation and the Islamic Society of Britain.

And we had a demo at the Sudanese Embassy on Saturday by Muslims carrying 'NOT IN MY NAME' placards and attempting to hand in a 'goodwill teddy' to Embassy staff, who refused to accept it.

Not hard to understand why, of course. Islam is happy to appear cruel, harsh and evil; but most Muslims outside Sudan realise that they've made themselves look ridiculous, and they can't stand that."
- from a reader

Not the slightest sense of relief, nor of gratitude, should be felt by Infidels moved by these examples. These Muslims living in Great Britain have not for one minute ended their attempt to defend Islam from critical scrutiny, and to continue to fool and confuse Infidels. It is just that when something like this happens, and cannot be explained away, and has to be dealt with, then they go into full "war is deception" mode and act outraged, and indignant. It is nonsense. If they thought such behavior by the Sudanese government could be gotten away with, they would have done nothing. They object not morally but only in terms of public relations -- the damage to the "image" of Islam in Great Britain, and possibly elsewhere in the West. Otherwise, they do not give a damn.

No one should allow himself to be fooled. Not for one minute.

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Posted on 12/03/2007 3:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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This freeing of Gibbons was based not on some new view that Muslims had arrived at, some new understanding of the primitiveness of their reactions, and desire to change their attitudes. There will be no discussion, in the ranks of Muslim clerics, in the Sudan or elsewhere, about the absurdity of the original charge, the original punishment, the original "good-natured" crowds in Khartoum "good-naturedly" screaming for Gibbons' "good-natured" decapitation.

The "freeing" of Gibbons, after what has already been an ordeal, may lead to a further unseemly spectacle. For it is not unlikely, it is likely, that she will return to England, and safely home, instead of discussing her amazement at the crazed behavior of so many Sudanese, and the Sudanese government, and the supposedly “advanced” parents – it’s the Sudanese elite that sends its children to the school at which Gibbons taught – she will tell us all, possibly selling her story to the tabloids, just how well-treated she was by her Sudanese captors, how wonderful those children and the Sudanese “in general” had been. She will even add, no doubt, that if things die down a bit, she wouldn’t hesitate to return to the Sudan and take up teaching again if she were asked to do so.

Of course, she may surprise us. She may not end up gushing insensately about what happened to her, as so many Western hostages taken by Muslims do, unable to understand the significance of what happened, and certainly incapable of publicly stating what one should state about such treatment, and such a government, and such a Total Belief System of which, I am sure, Mrs. Gibbons has not the faintest idea. She doesn’t look as though she might in a year pull an Yvonne-Ridley, and “embrace Islam” after being invited to study it by a local imam, eager to win her favor, and then some. But who knows? Nowadays anything is possible when it comes to non-Muslim naifs who have been captured, sometimes only figuratively, by the forces of Islam.

And she might even declare how grateful she was to Lord Ahmed and Lady whatshername,the two Muslims who had come to Khartoum in a noisy effort to obtain her release, hoping thereby to win points for themselves, and for Islam. If anyone thanks them for their effort – which did not succeed in its goal because the cruel and murderous Bashir, the man behind the Janjaweed, had decided, for good and sufficient reasons of his own (to insure no interruption in the extensive British and other Western aid, and to make sure that there is no Western reaction on the ground, that the Western Infidels don’t decide to seize the southern Sudan and Darfur and hold them, as I have suggested dozens of times here, until a referendum on independence can he held)—it will be outrageous. For this business of Muslims in this or that Infidel land taking it upon themselves to go and attempt to free non-Muslim citizens taken by Muslims elsewhere, always done highly selectively of course, if in any degree praised, when it should be denounced, will merely give Muslims, and some non-Muslims, the idea that “our” Muslims are “our secret weapon” for they, you see, can always be sent out to prevent the worst from happening. And it will give them a quasi-official role, and instead of being regarded as part of the problem of Islam, they will be regarded as part of the solution. Lord Ahmad and Lady whatshername are nothing of the sort. They were merely, by attempting to free the Gibbons lady, to promote Islam, to burnish the image of Islam, in Great Britain. In other words, they were using the same incident to strengthen Islam as the Sudanese judge who sentenced Gibbons, and the rioters who demanded her death, thought they were doing.

We, as Infidels, know that Lord Ahmed, unlike those Sudanese calling for the death of Mrs. Gibbons, has a much greater knowledge of the outside world, of how Infidels think, and of how Infidels can get angry, and how there are certain danger signs that possibly the Infidels are getting just a little too fast, too large a dose of the real Islam – and not what the smylers with the knyfs under their clokes present as the real Islam. He was protecting his own position, and the position of Islam, in Great Britain. Don’t let him or the well-heeled Muslimah who went with him, get away with this. They are, in their own way, furthering the Jihad, indeed furthering it far better than are those who wanted Gibbons punished, or even killed, for her act of sweet innocent all-too-understandable non-Muslim ignorance of the nature, and scope, of the menace of Islam.

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Posted on 12/03/2007 3:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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"The pen is mightier than the sword as long as there is someone alive and willing to wield the pen."
-- from a reader

"Morally, democracy is invincible. Physically, that side will win which has the better guns."

(Vladimir Nabokov, speaking at a "Why We Fight" meeting at Wellesley College during the first year of World War II)

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Posted on 12/03/2007 3:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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"If I remember correctly. WW1, was started by a thrown snowball. That's a little before my time, maybe Hugh remembers."-- from a reader


I don't remember any fatidic snowball thrown by a Serb in Sarajevo.

But then, my memory is now highly selective, especially for those dear dim days of summer 1914. I can't remember the name of the hotel. I can't even remember the name of the girl. But the wine was Chambertin.

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Posted on 12/03/2007 3:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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See the CAIR Bears here.

Why, under "DhimmiBear," is there only one model, with a Star of David? Another one should be displayed beside it, with a cross. Both models should be holding in their paws a fistful of fake dollars to be handed to their Muslim overlords. And while strictly speaking dhimmis can only be Jews and Christians (Zoroastrians somehow acquired a kind of honorary status, becoming quasi-members of Ahl al-Kitab, , and so did, in another way, after 70 million or so had been killed, Hindus in India under Muslim rule -- no doubt in both cases made necessary by the desire not to kill all of those useful, because Jizyah-paying, Infidel semi-slaves of Muslim overlords.

But the models displayed deserve not merely to be virtual, but made real. Find that Chinese factory that can turn them out overnight, and have millions of them here in two weeks, so that all over America they can be bought, for Christmas, Hanukkah, for whatever conceivable birthday or leave-taking or Campus Care Package (you know, those things innocent parents are inveigled into sending their kids). As a statement. As a symbol. As long-overdue mass-mockery. Some will want the whole collection.

One more way to fight back.

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Posted on 12/03/2007 3:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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Demented Loon Madeleine Bunting shows her true colours. Hanging's too good for her.

Of course, personal abuse of the dozy bint is no substitute for reasoned argument, so over to David Thompson for some of the latter:

Madeleine Bunting (for, yes, it is she) once again shares her pain and bares her sweet, illiberal soul

Soon the state will have to turn to rationing to halt hyper-frantic consumerism.

Goodness. Not mere shopping, or even busy shopping, and certainly not the more prosaic, and rather more common, buying the things one needs. No, apparently “we” have unwittingly succumbed to hyper-frantic consumerism™. And so, bless me, the state will have to take a firm hand and save us from ourselves.

Madeleine is, of course, unduly fond of the word “we” and all too willing to speak for others, even those whose views, and needs, may differ markedly from her own.

All this consumption is not necessary to our happiness… A low-consumption economy wouldn’t mean misery. But what’s disturbing is how we continue to shop when it doesn’t make us happier… The more insecure you are, the more materialistic; the more materialistic, the more insecure.

Again, one has to marvel at how dear Madeleine rarely misses an opportunity to tell us how we feel about things she doesn’t like. However, her vision of a “low-consumption economy” may not bring joy to everyone, entailing as it does “a dramatic drop in household consumption.” This unquestionably righteous end will, it seems, be achieved not by “the good intentions of individuals”, but as a result of

the government orchestrating a massive propaganda exercise combined with a rationing system and a luxury tax.

What, exactly, would this rationing and luxury tax cover, and how might it work?

Would the state monitor all of my purchases, and yours, and rate each one on a scale of necessity, frugality and moral uprightness? Would the thermostats of public buildings be doctored to ensure suitably modest levels of heating? And what about private spaces – your home, for instance? How, and by whom, would a person’s improper energy consumption be compiled, judged and penalised? Will there be a national, perhaps trans-national, database (in which we’ll have great confidence), monitoring each individual’s compliance with designated quotas? And will such things, as Maddy suggests, make “us” feel more secure and so much happier?

Like all New Labourites, Bunting is a control freak. No doubt she is extremely well paid for telling us to tighten our belts, just as Naomi Klein managed the branding of No Logo very successfully.

String 'er up.

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Posted on 12/03/2007 1:05 PM by Mary Jackson
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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by Theodore Dalrymple (Dec. 2007)

Quite often one reads that such-and-such a country - the Congo, for example - is impoverished in spite of its abundant natural resources. The tone is usually pained and a little surprised; the writer seems to think that natural resources ought to develop themselves and benefit populations without human intervention, by jumping out of the ground and distributing themselves equitably, for example.
 
Without political wisdom, however, abundant natural resources are more often a curse than a blessing. Many of the most prosperous and best-governed areas of the world, by contrast, are not at all well-favoured by nature. Man is not at his best when he receives or hopes for something for nothing. more...
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Posted on 12/03/2007 11:00 AM by NER
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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Monday, 03 December 2007
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This is Bat Ye'or, Daniel Pipes (and others) in the National Review Online on the subject of Sudan and the teddy bear riots. Here.

 

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Posted on 12/03/2007 9:59 AM by ESmerelda Weatherwax
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